Autism Hub brings community together

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Discussions with attendees at the Autism Hub during a presentation

Researchers and members of the public recently gathered for the second meeting of the Liverpool Autism Hub. The Hub was launched in July and aims to bring the autism community together to learn about current research, as well as contribute to community-led research.

The event was opened by Dr Idalmis Santiesteban, Department of Psychology, who gave an overview of the Institute’s research into autism.  This included projects investigating:

  • Music and emotion recognition in autistic adults
  • Empathy in autistic children
  • Understanding other people’s minds and emotions – a study of autistic adults
  • The effects of masking autistic symptoms on mental health
  • The lived experiences and availability of support for autistic university students
  • Autism and indoor spaces – a virtual reality study
  • Experiences of romantic relationships
  • Political radicalisation – are young autistic people vulnerable?

PhD student Marilla Bianco gave a presentation on her research into delayed diagnosis and mental health in autistic adults. This was followed by an update by Dr Jennifer Kirton, Department of Primary Care and Mental Health, on progress for the Patient Concerns Inventory project (PCI), which is hoped will become the Hub’s first community-led project.

Alistair Barfield from the Brain Charity gave an engaging talk on the services and support available to those with neurological conditions. Sharon Williams from the Outreach Support Service in Mainstream Education (OSSME) followed with an overview of their services, which provide autism support and training from early years through to university and the workplace.

Dr Santiesteban commented “It was great to see so many members of the autism community taking part in the event, engaging with each of the talks and asking very important questions. In feedback some expressed how grateful they are for the creation of the Autism Hub and others said they feel that they have finally been given a voice. We’ve also collected participants ideas on what they believe are the important questions that we should include in our future research.”

The next Autism Hub event is planned for Friday 1 March 2024 between 10:00 – 12:00.  For more details and how to sign up, please contact: